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Author Topic: Question About Discharge
copper86
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Hello;

Before I started this post, I read your "Honourably Discharged" article, but I would still like some feedback, if that's okay.

Ever since I had breakthrough bleeding while on my pill, I've been watching my body like a hawk; and it's getting to be very frustrating. I've been having abdominal pain and I think some constipation (the pain has lessened), and I sometimes feel a sting around my vaginal or anal area. I can't really tell where it's coming from sometimes.

I'm concerned, but my discharge is normal, it doesn't hurt when I use my fingers in my vulva to check for pain or unusual discharge, and it does not hurt when I urinate. Sometimes a glob of discharge will come out, but it's clear or white-ish on my fingers. I've noticed that having more discharge while on this pill brand is quite normal for me. I know the vagina is a self-cleaning organ and that there are days when it will be a little wonky in clearing stuff out. I wear tight clothes, thongs, and v-strings often; and those put pressure on the area. I'm just worried that something is wrong with me... Or is this normal?

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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Hi Copper,

Nothing that you're describing here sounds unhealthy from the perspective of vaginal health. Glops of discharge aren't in themselves unusual; I get them myself sometimes. Discharge can tend to be thicker when taking the birth control pill, so that might account for the gloppiness too.

It sounds like you're just generally feeling kinda icky. While I can't diagnose, it sounds like your concerns are more digestion related.

Given the pressure that you're feeling pain and pressure in your abdomen, do you think you'd feel more comfortable in looser clothing?

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Robin

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copper86
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Thank you so much, Robin! I appreciate your response! I've been trying to drink more fluids and hot tea to help with my digestion. I'm not vomiting or having diahhrea, so I'm assuming my pills are still being absorbed.

I think you are right. I do feel more comfortable in looser clothing, which I might have to wear for a while. I am feeling kind of gross! But it can be worse. [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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eryn_smiles
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I think that your looser clothing idea is a good one. G-strings and thongs can often make women prone to discomfort and urine infections- I think they make it easier for the bacteria to spread from anus to urethra.

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copper86
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Thank you, eryn_smiles! I tried wearing looser clothing today and I felt better.

This may sound gross, but I notice that my discharge is shiny and clear; but is it normal for it to crust up when it dries? It often does this, but I've noticed I've had much more of that lately. Could a wonky withdrawal bleed mixed with breakthrough bleeding cause my body to do this?

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Robin Lee
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Oh, my discharge always crusts up! [Smile]

Seriously though, that's not, so far as I know, an indication of anything wrong. Primarily the things you want to look for with problematic discharge are changes in colour or smell. The only texture change that is really a cause of concern is when it becomes chunky or curd-like, or.

Remember that stress can contribute to digestive issues, and you've said you have had a lot of that lately. [Smile]

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Robin

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copper86
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Thank you so much, Robin. I really appreciate your response! I have less cramps and abdomen pain today. I'm still taking my pill as usual and am counting on it to still be working well. I'm hoping this pressure goes away, because it's making me go insane! Lol.

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Robin Lee
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There's no reason that these kinds of digestive issues would interfere with your pill, so rest easy on that score. [Smile]

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Robin

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copper86
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Just to check, I read here in that article on discharge that light yellow discharge is still a healthy type to have... Is that correct? My discharge has a slight light yellow tint to it and is thick or liquid-like. I'm pretty sure I've seen this same type for a long time, but I'm just checking in. [Smile]

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Heather
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Unless you've had a sexual healthcare provider suggest otherwise, then yep, no reason to assume it means anything is amiss.

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copper86
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Okay, thank you! I'm really hoping to see my family doctor soon, so I can bring it up then too if need be.

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Onionpie
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Whups, heather got it!

[ 09-16-2012, 01:58 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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copper86
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Thank you both! Sometimes if I spread the glob or liquid on my finger it looks more clear than yellow. I can't really smell anything when it's on my fingers. My doctor will surely get an avalanche of questions from me soon! Lol. [Smile]

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copper86
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Hello,

I am on the second day of my placeob pills, and for peace of mind, I just took a pregnancy test an hour or so ago and it was negative. When I wiped last night and this morning after urinating, I saw what looked like reddish-pink discharge (what I often get before my period). Later this morning, though, I have brown-ish discharge - it's like a clump of normal discharge, but brown and stretchy. I know one can have brown discharge (which can be old blood) before a period starts or after, but I must say that I'm pretty panicked.

I have a doctor's appointment for next Thursday, but I'm not sure if I can wait that long. I want my mom to take me to the ER or a walk-in clinic, but I'm not sure how to phrase that to her without me going hysterical or her looking at me like I sprouted another eye. My abrasion doesn't hurt much anymore, but I hesitate to put on a tampon. I'm so frustrated with my body that I think it's making me depressed.

Edit: Brown discharge is normal at the end of my bleed, but not often at the beginning. It's kind of hard to remember if I've had it before, but if I had, it'd be on a tampon and so I'm not sure if I would've "noticed" it as prominently as I could now that it's on my underwear.

[ 09-20-2012, 10:08 AM: Message edited by: copper86 ]

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Robin Lee
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HI Copper,

Can you talk about what it is that you think you need to go to the ER for?

As you said here, you may have had brown discharge before and simply not have noticed.

As we've talked about before, our bodies aren't always going to do the same things, and I'm concerned for you that you're panicking every time your body does something different.

So, again, let's start by talking about why you think this is an emergency.

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Robin

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copper86
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Ever since my last bleed and breakthrough bleeding, I've been very panicked. I'm scared I have an infection or something due to this brown discharge. I guess I'm worried because my bleeds usually start with bright red blood and not brown discharge and old blood. My last bleed ended a bit early in my placebo week, so I guess this could truly be old blood that I'm able to release due to the hormonal withdrawal. I wanted to go to the ER because it's very hard to see my family doctor without an appointment, and honestly, since I'm not sure if this discharge has happened before (though it does show up during my period and when it ends), I automatically thought I had an infection; though no other symptoms were present.

I'm just really scared I have an infection or something wrong with my vulva. I've been at my wit's end for the last 2 weeks or so, so maybe that has to do with this, too. I know I should remember that bodies are not machines and that they'll do different things sometimes - and I can see that on a rational level - but I seem to think that my case will be the exception. Thank you so much for responding, and for your concern!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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Brown discharge is more typical of menstrual periods or withdrawal bleeds than it is of infections.


It's pretty clear that this panic about your body is starting to control things. If you want that to change, I strongly suggest you talk to your doctor and ask her to help you find some psychological support.

This isn't going away, and I suspect that the things you've mentioned, such as changing pill brands because of the breakthrough bleeding, aren't going to help with the underlying issues you're having.

So, my questions to you are: What kind of relationship would you like to have with your body? and What kind of changes would you like to make in order to have that relationship?

In other words, would you like this situation of constantly being in a panic to change?

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Brown discharge is more typical of menstrual periods or withdrawal bleeds than it is of infections.


It's pretty clear that this panic about your body is starting to control things. If you want that to change, I strongly suggest you talk to your doctor and ask her to help you find some psychological support.

This isn't going away, and I suspect that the things you've mentioned, such as changing pill brands because of the breakthrough bleeding, aren't going to help with the underlying issues you're having.

So, my questions to you are: What kind of relationship would you like to have with your body? and What kind of changes would you like to make in order to have that relationship?

In other words, would you like this situation of constantly being in a panic to change?

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Robin

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copper86
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Oh, I was really unaware of that. Thank you.

I agree that it is starting to severely damage my life. There are days when I don't want to get up in the morning because I'm so exhausted with worrying over my body. I think that when I do see my doctor on Thursday, I will talk to her about referring me to a psychologist in my area. I wonder if my parents would be on-board with that or not; as they might not see a need for me to see a counsellor - but I know I would like to, since I keep a whole number of things to myself, whereas my brother is a bit more open (and so, when my mom had been consoling me a week ago, she had said that, since I usually don't discuss things with her and dad, they assume that I can handle things on my own or that I don't need their help).

I think I would like to have the relationship with my body that I had this time last year. I had thought then that my body was a beautiful and cool thing - something I enjoyed and not worried over - whereas now I am pretty frustrated with it. I would truly like to stop panicking over every little thing it does. I really like having a sense of control in my life, and I'm currently having no control over other situations; but though I logically know that I "can't" control what my body does, I guess that still bugs me inwardly.

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Robin Lee
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To give your doctor a sense of what is going on, I think it's important to share this with her, that your feelings towards and reactions to your body have changed drastically in the past year.

It sounds like it's pretty important to you to have your parents approve of what you do. What happens if they don't think you need counselling, even if you do?

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Robin

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copper86
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I will definitely mention that to her. This appointment is more of a meet-and-greet though, but I'm still planning to discuss some questions and concerns I have.

The good news is that I started bleeding around 12:30, so I definitely feel more "normal" now. I didn't have any pads on hand so I used a Regular tampon, but I'm actually bleeding quite a bit; so I'm hoping that it will be saturated enough when I take it out later. I have pads now, though, and will alternate to better care for my vulva. I had been wiping so hard and often when I first saw the discharge that I might've irritated it a bit (but I've encountered similar situations while wiping anywhere, so I'm not too concerned about that).

I don't know why this paranoia over my body is occurring. It started when I came home from university, so I'm not sure if it's just something else I'd inadvertently decided to obsess over since I could no longer stress out over school.

I really do care about my parents' and brother's approval. I'm not sure what would happen if they disagreed that I needed counselling. In truth, I'd be a little embarrassed, since my family is really into taking care of one another when need be. I know counselling is perfectly natural - and I personally think that if lots of people had a counsellor or someone to talk to, they would probably be happier - but if my parents disagreed, I might have to not get it. If I could take a bus or walk somewhere, then that would be better - for them and for me - but the issue would be financial. I do have some money put away, so I could always tell them that I could use that to either pay them back or just to handle it myself using that money.

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Robin Lee
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The important thing to remember is that counselling is, in many ways, different from having someone to talk to. This is also something you could mention to your parents if that comes up.

For many reasons, a counsellor can work with us on a level that we generally can't get to with friends, acquaintances, or relatives. As an example, all of the factual information we've given you, while it seems that it has helped you become more informed, has not really made much of an impact on the underlying anxiety you have around your body and its processes. This isn't bad; it just means that, in addition to facts, you need a different type of assistance.

It's perfectly okay for you to mention this to your doctor as part of a meet-and-greet appointment, particularly since it's a pretty big thing that you, from what we've been able to see here, really need help with sooner rather than later.

It's very easy to use things like finances, family opinion, etc, to bargain with ourselves against doing something. So, I do suggest keeping an open mind on the possibilities that are available to you if getting counselling is something you want for yourself.

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copper86
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You do raise some very good points about why counselling is different than the type of support we can get with family and friends. I would really like to ask my doctor about this. I admit that I'm a very paranoid and anxious person, and I would like to try and curtail that with help from someone.

I seem to have a problem with understanding things logically and objectively, but when applying them to myself or trying to convince myself of those things, I get anxious anyway (not as bad, but it sometimes peaks, depending on the situation). I'll speak to my doctor about how I'm feeling.

I recently told my mom I wanted a menstrual cup (that I would pay for myself), and she got pretty grossed out and didn't want me to get one. It was hard for me to keep my side of the debate, but I've read on the Diva cup's website about how safe they are (and my mom said they weren't), so that bothered me; especially since I'd be the one using it! I'll speak to my doctor about this, too, so perhaps if a medical professional echoes my views, my mom won't be so hesitant.

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Heather
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You know, I gotta say, over the time you've been here, it also sounds like your relationship with your family, in some aspects is one thing you could probably stand to talk to someone *about.*

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copper86
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Yes, I believe you're right! I love my family and I know they love me, but I often feel like I am not treated according to my age (which is sometimes my fault, so I'm not just blaming them), or that I'm kind of left to the wayside.

I'm still having brown, stringy discharge mixed with my bleed now; but I know that is most likely old blood. I did notice that my bleed finished up a few days earlier last month - at least 2 or 3 - so could my body just be getting rid of that old blood as well as the fresh blood? I'm wearing a pad for the first time in six years, and it's not too bad. [Smile]

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Heather
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It has sounded to me more than a few times like, developmentally speaking, the kind of increasing autonomy and separation -- on their end but, yep, also on yours -- we'd kind of want to see happening not only by, but before the age you're at is lagging, sometimes considerably.

And yep, that certainly is what it could be.

Really, I can't encourage you enough right now to try and put your focus on something other than...well, what's coming out of your vagina. I'm feeling like us continuing to talk about it with you isn't actually helpful, and like you'd be a lot better off taking that energy and trying very hard to put it somewhere else.

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copper86
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I do appreciate what you're saying. I'm kind of in-between transitions at the moment (I'd lived away from home while attending school), so I'm floundering around a bit. I think it might be time to seriously start putting money aside for an apartment, a car, or something that will enable me to become more independent. I was much more independent at school, so this is kind of a wake-up call for me. But I am definitely taking what you said to heart.

Hooray! Hopefully that is what it is.

And yes, you are a hundred percent right on that score, too. I'll try to quit obsessing over this, and try to actually have fun instead of worry. I really do appreciate you and all the other staff and volunteers who consistently answer my many questions! I will try to relax. [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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Or heck, maybe start looking for a roommate?

In other words, having money for one's own apartment by oneself early on in life is, in my experience, awfully unusual. What's much more common is for us to start out in shared or group spaces.

So, if you have a job, maybe now's the time to start looking for your own place with folks you can afford soon, rather than trying to save for living alone, which might take years?

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copper86
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Hi Heather!

Unfortunately, I am still looking for work; but I think I will start putting money aside for whatever goal I do decide on - be it a car or an apartment. Most of my friends live with their partners or families, so I suppose getting a roommate would take some planning.

I know you're not a doctor and might not know how the protocol regarding how my specific clinic operates (I don't know either, since this will be my first time seeing her), but could a doctor examine you during an appointment if you ask her or him to do so? I understand that I can't have a physical or anything without booking one first, but I just mean a quick check-up, so to speak. I seem to have somehow cut myself below the entrance to my vulva (maybe with a fingernail, scraping of clothes and undergarments) - I can see a line and it is getting better now that I'm wearing pads and taking baths - but I'd just really like her to look at it and give me her opinion. It'd be awkward to ask, but I'm hoping I could. Thank you!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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If you go to the doctor and express a concern about something, they'll generally take a look. The only time they wouldn't for sure is if you had several concerns to talk about in one appointment and they had to triage what was crucial for that time.

Think about it this way: if you go in for a sore throat, they're going to take a look at your throat. If you go in with a sprained or at least aching ankle they're going to look at that. Sooo... you get the picture. [Smile]

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copper86
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Okay! Thank you so much, Robin! That does make sense! I've had doctors examine my throat when I said it was sore, and my arm and all that; so I guess since the vulva is just so personal, I thought I'd have to go through some kind of formality. My tear is getting better, but I'd still like her to take a look. Thank you!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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What do you think the tear was from?

When it comes to medical care, the vulva is pretty much like the rest of the body. There are a few more safety and privacy protocols, but that's about the only difference.

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Robin

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copper86
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I sometimes jab that area with my finger when inserting it into my vulva; but I'm honestly unsure (since I did that at least over a week ago). The area was a bit sensitive before my bleed; and then I was wiping that area roughly and it most likely got further irritated. The skin felt like it was really tight, like it was going to rip. It wasn't until today that the cut was visible - it's a small line. I wish I knew how it happened, but I can only speculate. I'm relieved it's feeling a bit better.

Thank you! That's a relief to know.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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You're welcome.

Sounds like your vulva could use a bit more tender, loving care from you. This isn't the first time you've talked about treating it roughly. Want to talk about that?

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Robin

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copper86
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I'm not sure how this happens. I get pretty frustrated or worried (like when I got the brown discharge), so I will do things like wipe a lot or too hard, or just accidentally jab myself. I'm not sure if that cut was from shaving, since I usually cover my genitals with one hand as I do that; but that could possibly be from that.

To be honest, my vulva kind of unnerves me. I used to think it was a beautiful thing, but I'm pretty nervous about it in general and so maybe those nerves make me hesitant to treat it with more care? I'm not sure. But I am pretty impressed with it since I've experienced it heal itself without much help from me. I'm scared to put any cream on it to speed up the healing - not just because the medication might affect my pill, but because I don't want a foreign substance accidentally getting into my vulva and irritating it further. Thank you for letting me discuss this! I've read not to use tampons when one has a vaginal tear, but I felt like I had to this weekend as I was away from home (and didn't want leaks or messes); but I've been wearing pads today and I think it's helped.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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